Cincinnati Masters: Borna Coric stuns 2013 champion Rafael Nadal
Croatia's Borna Coric knocked 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal out of the 2022 Western and Southern Open. The former won 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-3 to proceed to the third round in Cincinnati. Coric claimed his fifth tour-level win since March this year, while Nadal lost just his fourth match of 2022. Nadal was vying to claim the top spot in the ATP Rankings.
Coric, the former world number 12, secured his biggest win of the season after two hours and 51 minutes. He won a total of 96 points and 17 games in the match. Coric fired as many as 12 aces. The Croatian will next face Roberto Bautista Agut, who reached the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Marcos Giron.
Coric now has a win-loss record of 3-2 in the ATP head-to-head series. However, none of them has managed to win consecutive matches against each other as of now. Before the 2022 Western and Southern Open, Nadal defeated Coric in the 2017 Canada Masters. In 2016, Coric prevailed over Nadal in Cincinnati Masters. He thrashed the Spaniard in straight sets.
Nadal was aiming to win his 36th Masters 1000 title. He is only behind Novak Djokovic, who owns 38 of them. Despite his loss in Cincinnati, Nadal has been on a roll in 2022, having won the Australian Open and the French Open. He has won a total of four titles this year. Nadal has an incredible record of 35-4 in the season.
Nadal has won the Cincinnati Masters just once. He defeated John Isner 7-6(8), 7-6(3) in the final to win the championship in 2013. Nadal has reached at least the quarter-finals on seven occasions. He has a win-loss record of 22-12 at the Masters 1000 event.
Nadal could have reclaimed the top spot in the ATP Rankings at the Western and Southern Open. The 36-year-old had confirmed his plans to participate in the hard-court tournament, his first since pulling out of Wimbledon semis. The Spaniard would have climbed to the top of the ATP Rankings, had he won the championship. He could still finish the year as the top-ranked player.